I've been thinking about how economical my ducks are or are not lately. How does everyone else look at the financial costs & benefits of their backyard ducks? Do your costs look anything like mine? We have 6 ducks right now: 2 KC drakes, 1 KC duck, 2 Rouen ducks and a Cayuga/Rouen cross duck. With this combination, and what I know about how well these ducks lay, I am expecting to get around 650 eggs in 2013. Feed & supplements cost me around $40 per duck per year. I usually buy conventional commercial feed which runs about $18 to $20 per 50lbs bag. Calcium, vitamin supplements & apple cider vinegar run less than $20 per year. I have 6 ducks and I use a 50lbs bag every month, though they seem to eat more in the fall than in the summer. Straw bedding probably costs about $50 per year, give or take. My coop was pretty inexpensive. Most of it was scrap from other home improvement projects. We bought around $50 worth of special hardware for the coop (hinges, door closer, etc). I'd peg the total value of the coop at $150. Given the cheap materials, it will probably last around 7 years before it needs to be renovated or replaced, so the annualized cost (or depreciation) is around $21.50 per year. Acquiring the stock probably cost the same as everyone else's ducks, around $3 per duckling. Some are descended from feed store ducks that I bought for $2.50 a piece. Some are from shipped eggs (a dozen for $60). My home-made incubator cost me around $60 in parts, but it should last as long as I want to hatch eggs. Each duck lays for around 4 years, so the annual cost of stock acquisition per year of productive egg laying is about $0.75 We use a lot of water for the ducks, about 22 gallons per day in the summer and about 7 gallons per day in the winter. I know that I spoil these creatures with water. However, our rain-barrels provide almost all the water for about 9 months of the year, so there really isn't much of a cost for the ducks' water. The most expensive cost to me right now would be land cost, if I include it in the calculation. My ducks have the run of my 2,500 square foot side-yard in the city. We use this yard for lots of things (veggies, fruits, BBQ grill, space for the kids to play, etc), so it is not quite fair to hoist the full cost on the ducks. In any case, I pay around $400 per year in taxes for my 2,500sf side-yard, which works out to be around $6,970 per acre, or about 20 times the typical annual lease rate for prime agricultural land in Illinois. Or about $0.62 PER EGG! Crazy. So I won't include it in the tabulation So here is what our costs look like for the ~650 eggs we'll get in 2013: Item Total Cost Cost per dozen Eggs Feed $240.00 $4.43 Straw $50.00 $0.92 Coop /yr $21.43 $0.40 Stock /yr $4.50 $0.08 TOTAL $315.93 $5.83 We eat, bake with or share all of the eggs we get (except for a hand-full that we hatch). If we didn't have our duck eggs, we'd probably buy free-range chicken eggs at the grocery store for $2.65 per dozen. This works out to be difference between our eggs and store bought eggs of $172 per year. At the local farmers' markets, though, free-range duck eggs cost between $6 to $12 per dozen, so it is still a great deal. The ducks entertain us and eat pests in our yard about 10 hours a day, every day of the year. If you think of the $172 difference as kind of like their salary for entertaining us, it works out to be an hourly wage for our ducks of less than one cent per hour per bird. If we gradually replace our laying ducks with all Khaki Campbells, here is what the numbers will look like. We'll get about 1,200 eggs per year and, Item Total Cost Cost per dozen Eggs Feed $240.00 $2.40 Straw $50.00 $0.50 Coop /yr $21.43 $0.21 Stock /yr $4.50 $0.05 TOTAL $315.93 $3.16 our duck eggs will cost about the same as what we pay at the grocery store for free-range chicken eggs. And we get all of the entertainment and pest control for free. Ducks: totally worth it.